How many of you have virtue that can withstand the highest bidder?

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” George Washington

It is unfortunate that there are very few people who can’t be bought. It is simply a matter of human nature. There are things people consider more valuable than their virtue. The bidding price might be very high, but there is a price that people believe will outweigh the loss of virtue.

People manage to find a way to justify doing something against their principles in exchange for position, money, power, sex or any other thing they consider of value. They need to feed their family. It is an emergency and they are in dire need of money. They are doing it to keep the family in the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to. They are not selling their virtue but doing what’s needed. And so on.

The person who can withstand temptation, who would not forsake virtue for the highest bidder, is most likely a poor person. The family of that person lives a simple un-extravagant lifestyle.

The people who would forsake the highest bidder to keep their virtue intact, might be poor, but are very content. They are comfortable with themselves. They can look in the mirror without feeling the need to justify their actions.

They are in the minority though. In a day where basic necessities require more than what a poor person has, no one can afford to be virtuous.

In this day and age, unfortunate as it is, everyone finds it very easy to justify selling their virtue to the highest bidder.

Those of us who are not for sale to any bidder, and we are out there, are a minority. We may not have fancy cars and houses, but we have peace of mind, and that is something you can’t put a price on.

Do what is right. Can politics get any simpler than this?

“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” Marcus Aurelius

Can ethics get any simpler than this? Most people understand the differences between right and wrong, the truth and a lie.

Sometimes, people rationalize going against the simple premise of doing what is right by proclaiming that the end justifies the means, that they are above rules like these.

Sometimes, they claim their lies are for the common good of others.

Neither is true.

The end never justifies the means. That is just a way for people to make themselves feel better about being unethical. They lie and cheat, claiming it is for the better good of others. They are not doing it for the benefit of others, they are trying to justify an immoral action.

Annihilating an entire race of people in order to promote your own is never justified. Bombing entire cities to end a war is never justified. Suspending moral laws for the benefit of a few or many is never justified. The means will never justify the end, no matter how many benefit. There will always be other options, suspending moral laws may just be the most expeditious, the easy way out. If tried hard enough, an ethical solution will always be found.  People just need to take the time to find it.

Those who lie never do it for the benefit of others, despite what they claim. They are lying for themselves. Maybe one can justify withholding the truth for the benefit of others, that’s what secrets are. One can never justify lying for the benefit of anyone. Lying is an unethical act which only benefits the liar.

Politicians have become notorious for making these claims. They hold themselves above others, above moral laws, that when they lie or commit an immoral act, it is for the benefit of society.

No one is above moral laws, especially politicians.

Lies and unethical acts are the tools of self serving individuals, people whose main interest is their own agenda.

People have become blinded, believing that the end justifies the means, that lying to protect the majority is okay. That is why immoral politicians continue to prosper. We believe their lies. We accept their claim that they are above moral laws and ethics.

If we, the people, begin holding others accountable to these simple rules, ethics will once again prosper.

If we, the people, simply say “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it”, regardless of the reason, others would not be able to justify immoral and unethical actions.

If we, the people, stand up and say, “that is not right, stop doing it” or “that is not true, stop saying it”, we are saying ethics comes before your self interest.

If we, the people, remain quiet, then we are accepting the fact that others are above moral and ethical laws. We are giving them permission to cheat us and to lie to us. We are saying “you are above moral laws, do what you must”

It is not “If it is not right do not do it, unless …; if it is not true do not say it, unless…”

It is not ‘Do what is expeditious, regardless of ethics”

It is not “Do what benefits the most, regardless of ethics”

It is very simple: If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it” Period!

 

 

What you think makes you who you are.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If people speak or act with evil thoughts, pain follows them. If people speak or act with pure thoughts, happiness follows them, like a shadow that never leaves them.” Siddhartha Gautama

Many times you’ve probably heard that after a while, people and their pets begin to resemble each other. It is the same with people and their thoughts. You become the person that’s contained within your thoughts.

If you’re preoccupied with evil thoughts, you will become an evil person. If you’re preoccupied with good thoughts, you’ll become a good person.

What you think becomes who you are.  When you think evil thoughts, not only do you become an evil person, but pain and torment will find you no matter where you go.

When you think, speak and act with pure thoughts, you’ll become a good and decent person. Goodness and happiness will greet you where ever you go.

It is the same with failure and success. If you think, deep down, that you will fail at any task you try, then you really will fail. If, deep down, you know that you will succeed, then chances are that you will find success. One of the differences between the two, is that the person who knows they will fail will give up after each failure. The person who knows they will succeed doesn’t let a failure here or there stop them. The person who knows they will succeed will continue trying, regardless of how many failures they encounter, until they finally succeed.

If you want to change yourself, begin by changing how you think. Begin by changing your thoughts, by thinking like the person you want to be. If you want to be a winner, think like a winner. If you want to be a good person, remove evil thoughts from your mind, and try to think of happiness.

Not only are you what you eat, you are also what you think. There are no born losers. No one is born unlucky. If you think you’re a loser, you will be a loser. If you think you’re unlucky, you will be unlucky.

Change begins from within. Through the power of your thoughts, everything is possible.

Impartial news reporting with integrity: not at the NY Times

“Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The New York Times used to be my favorite source to get reliable local, national and world news. That changed a few days ago after I finished reading an article about one of the two men running for president.

The article started out okay, but as I reached the mid section, I began questioning the accuracy of the information, as some of it was the opposite of what I had always heard and believed through personal experience. I began to question what I had always thought, maybe I was wrong all along. That’s how much faith I had put into the NY Times. That’s how much integrity I put into their reporting, feeling that this was one news organization that wouldn’t try to deceive the public.

Upon finishing the article, I had a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right with the article. This particular article had comments, something very rare for the NY Times. I began reading the comments, and found that almost everyone commenting had the same message: the article was completely inaccurate.

This wasn’t just a minor mistake here and there. The entire article, from the title itself to the information cited, were all false and misleading.

Looking to add my two cents, I found the editors had very quickly stopped accepting any more comments.

There is nothing wrong with supporting one candidate over the other, even for a news organization. There is enough material from both sides to present a good argument for your choice. Twisting the truth doesn’t just affect the author of the article, but affects the integrity of the entire news paper.

Now I understand why the NY Times doesn’t accept comments on many of their articles: the truth begins to come out.

It’s unfortunate because now, I have nowhere else to go to get unbiased, accurate news reporting. The news on television lost its integrity a long time ago. Some print and television outlets never had any to begin with.

Are we now forced to get impartial news from the social media, from places like twitter, where it’s reported realtime, as it happens, by people seeing it unfold? Are we reduced to watching a video of the event on Youtube, that is until one of the media outlets gets it removed?

The problem with losing your integrity is that it is very difficult to get it back. For the NY Times, they lost more than one long time reader. They’ve lost their reputation.

For those of you interested, here’s the article:

Romney Says He Paid at Least 13% in Income Taxes

Ethics, not money, will trickle down to everyone

“If ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization.”  Robert Noyce

The governments trickle down strategy would have been more effective if the government was promoting ethics. There are behavioral differences regarding people with money, and  people with ethics. Money at the top tends to stay at the top; with people who have it hoarding it and craving more. The rest may crave the money, but unless the ones at the top decide to share, there is nothing much they can do, except mimic the ones at the top to try getting money of their own.

Ethics at the top, unlike money, will flow down. While not able to get a share of the money being hoarded, others who don’t have money can follow the methods of those on top. They can follow their behavior. They can follow their ethics.

If those methods, behaviors and ethics worked for the ones at the top, surely they will work for everyone else. Leaders can hoard their money, but they cannot hoard their methods, behaviors and ethics. Those are out there for everyone to see and adopt, in any organization, in the government, and more importantly, in the home.

For those who aren’t successful, there is nothing to trickle down. For those who succeed, for those who become leaders, for those who become role models: ethics, above all else, will trickle down.

So the next time you wonder why ethics are poor in the company, government, or family you lead: look in the mirror. The answer will be staring you in the face.

Are you a menace to society?

To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.            Theodore Roosevelt

What this quote means is that educating a person with knowledge without also teaching morality creates a person who will cause problems for society. An educated person without morals can do more harm to society than an uneducated person with or without  morals. When a school teaches a person how to run a business, it must also teach that person what constitutes ethical and moral behavior, and that acting in a moral fashion must be considered when making business decisions.